I've personally taught in both special needs school and MOE mainstream school. As a parent, you really need to observe and assess how your child is coping, be it in special needs sch or mainstream.
Some mild autistic children can fit well into mainstream sch, but some can't. For those who can't, they would likely be in their own world & thoughts and not following what is being taught. Some even would show disruptive behaviours in class and given no better choice, the teachers (not the SNOs) would just have to "punish" them by making them sit behind the class or face the wall etc. I've seen cases where the autism is quite serious and the child is just going thru the motion by being in class BUT not knowing what's happening. Some children are being teased or bullied by peers who are not so understanding of their peculiar behaviours. If the child is not learning well and coping with the environment, then it's really not helpful to put your child in mainstream school just for the sake of it.
In such cases, a special needs school WILL help. In special needs school, the teaching method and curriculum is geared towards their needs and they can learn better in a "managed" environment. The class size is smaller and the environment is designed to help them cope. For eg. more written instructions and signage are used cos autistic children normally response poorly to verbal cues, more organised workarea and routines to help them cope. All these are designed with their needs in mind.
For parents out there with autistic children, it will really help if you're personally involved in your child's learning and growing. To provide the additional help needed to help them grow and manage their own needs so that they can be independent eventually. I know it's not easy and the burden is heavy... but focus on the long term benefits you're going to reap. I've seem many cases where the autistic child improves tremendously when the parents personally involve in teaching their children.
What I'm sharing is purely from my personal experience working with autistic children... just hope that it'll help you in one way or another.
Dr Bock has treated some autistic children with success. He maintains that the current increase in autism/ADHD/allergies all have the same link, i.e. toxification due to the mercury and aluminum found in vaccines (these heavy metals are used as preservatives for the vaccines).
I don't have a child with autism or ADHD. My toddler has skin allergy (well, trivial compared with autism and ADHD), but I am worried about asthma. So I bought this book to read. Now I am worried whether I should delay her MMR vaccination till she's older.
Just thought I'd like to share this book with you.
My husband colleague's son was treated with autism by a traditional chinese physician when he was younger. She is a Singaporean who was trained in China. Many autistic children are getting treatment from her. She uses accupuncture, massage and chinese drugs. My baby girl who is now 7 mths old is getting treatment from her because she is refusing milk. Her clinic is Shan Dong Traditional Chinese Medicine at Jurong, number is 65646335.
My kid has ASD and is still enrolled at a regular child (PAP) until now. He is 2 yrs & 10 mos & he's in a playgroup. However at this time, i am scouting a full-time special school for his ASD. The developmental pediatrician suggested St. Gerard's & Kits4Kids. The Rainbow Center offers only few sessions a week, so we did not consider this school. My HB and I are both working.
When he was @1.5 yrs. the pediatrician, Dr. Vanessa at Kidslink Sengkang, recommended the Dev't ped at KKH, Dr Lian Wee Bin. So from that point, we had 3 sessions with the psychologist for the pix exchange, 2 sessions with OT for assessment of his gross/fine motor skills , 2 sessions for the SLT & a social worker. I still have unattended sessions and the assessment is a different appointment from these sessions i mentioned. This assessment will determine the kind of program (long-term) for my kid.
The current child care are staffed by regular teachers and I wasn't offered a psychologist service. They give me feedback about my kid's behaviour and i inform them of the specialists sessions and my plan to transfer him in a special school.
I am stressed by my son's transfer of school. He used to be in MINDS for 2 years. The Principal & Teachers have always believed that he should try for Mainstream. Finally took the IQ test in 2007 (he was 8yrs old at that time) and he scored 93, which goes into the category of Mainstream school. Afterwhich, he went to a Primary with SNO in the north. I cannot deny the fact that he was fantasized by the new environment, however I got alot of feedback on his behaviour (not wanting to do school work, wander around, touching his peers' things, not queueing up after recess, lone ranger, no interaction with peers, etc). But sometimes he does follows instructions. He is already 2 yrs behind kids his own age. And now, I'm shifting to South East area and has problem finding a school that can accept him (all those schools with SNOs are either no vacancy or the SNOs has not arrived yet). Finally on the 30th December, I got a letter from MOE stating that a neighbourhood school is willing to take him in (it is very very near and just opposite my block), but with no SNO. He started school today in Primary 2, but I can see that he is still wandering off and not following the class. I am more worried now than he was in Primary 1 because there is no Assistant Teacher or SNO and the Teacher has to face this situation alone in class. Not sure if the school is kicking my son out soon......sigh...
Vanessa, apart from the stated behaviours, how does he cope with the studies? If you could not find a school with SNO and have to live with it, then the other option is to have external therapy. In your case, some social life therapy on the awareness of the environment and how to interact may be useful.
in USA, they have professional shadows (caregivers)who follow the child in school. i will be doing that for my son when he is due for pri 1. some school do allow. my gal in Peichun and i saw there is this boy who has a maid to shadow him. for me, i will do it myself and try to blend him in slowly so that i can let go when time comes. if he still can't adapt to school, i will home school him, which is what i am doing currently. i am sick and tired of the local education system. rush rush for normal children, even special needs also want to rush.
vanessa, you can also try pathlight.
my boy is 9mths..but he oso refused to drink milk or eat any porridge..he only like plain water..loves to play with switch..loves to shout and scream..doesnt know how to crawl yet..is it signs of austism??
My son is in P3 this year. altought the sch have a SNO but she is too busy with a few behavior ASD kids so i did'nt get any benifit of it.
Every Year I will get my son psychology to vist the sch to observe the my son and have a discussion with teacher around March, If the teacher is helpful it is a worth inverstment. but sometime some teacher is not helpful.. :')
I was also the parent volunteer in sch. Every day, we will be there at recess to take care and oranigise play/activties for our ASD kids. This is helpful as we can make friends with the classmate and get to know what is happening in the class. and also got the chance to talk to teacher, Canteen vendor, cleaner.... so they are very aware of our ASD kids and more patiant toward them.
my son is able to sit and follow instrution in sch. his main problem is emotion control. he will feel nervous and cry when something lost or when disspointed. His social is not very good too, I have to help him to make friends(alway buy small little things or sticker for his friends)
I am thinking of his furhter path now. to stay in mainstream till P6(fondation class)then go Norhtlight/ITE? or is there any more place is more suitable him for him to learn in a slower and happy envoirment....
guess the kids will learn faster and happier when the envoirment is free of stress...
Does any1 knows if there's a child care centre in Singapore that caters to a child with ASD. My husband and I have tried sending my son, Danial who is 2 1/2 years old, to a mainstream child care centre but apparently it doesn't work as they don't have facilities to cater for children like him.
Don't know where you stay... but i have put my girl at Divinity at Bishan. The timing is 9am to 4pm. Fee is $900 per month. (not able to obtain any subsidy from govt at all as they are private school)
So far the principal, Margaret is very positive and very hands on.
You may PM me if you need more info.
thanks for the reply. hmm, the father has not been confirmed diagnosed with ASD but suspected. will observe my child on this. so far, no symptoms. keeping my fingers crossed that there will never be any.
Hi i was from Pei chun.I jus graduated 2 years ago.When i was in p1 there was this special needs boy in my class the teachers explained to us and usually i would bring him for recess with me.He was in the school until P2 then got transferred to special needs school.There was another girl also special needs but i think it was very mild so she was in Pei Chun and i think she remained in p3 standard for quite some time.Some of the teachers were really ncie and caring not sure about the ones now.
My son is currently 20months old and suspected to have Autism. NUH has kindly submitted him to be put on wait list for Early intervention program. We are choosing a few schools like ARC, Rainbow at Magaret Drive, Autism Children Centre at Simei and Awwa.
Does any mommy got any comments on these schools?
I'm especially interested in ARC but they don't really allow us to tour the school and we can't see how the teachers teach the students... and so if any one got info on ARC, please kindly share with me.. Many thanks..
Hi, anyone knew of any pre-school who are good at handling kids with mild ASD, preferably in the west, Choa Chu Kang, Teck Whye, Bukit Panjang vicinity. My nephew is 4 yrs old and had mild ASD and beside attending the necessary therapy session, we also want him to attend the normal setting kindergarden, hope that he can adapt and prepare him well later in the mainstream school.
Btw, is it a must for him to attend the special schools.
Try to look for a school with small setting.
Not those "branded" ones cos they will have too many kids.
Also if you are going to visit the center, see how the kids behave and whether they can play together.
Nope, it's not a MUST for him to attend special schools but it would be GOOD if he attends them as they will teach him lots of stuff that will help him improve the condition.
A friend of mine recently "recommended" me to this place. Actually I am no longer looking for a special school as my son has just enrolled into one. However, this Sunshine Kids that my friend recommended is very "enticing" in that the distance is very close to where i live. Just 8 mins drive compared to the current special school where i have to drive my son for 20-25mins everyday.
I actually visited the place. Hmm altho the Principal was nice & warm & was able to give me a pamphlet with "good reviews" from some past clients of hers, I personally felt that her centre felt a little "empty & cold" as in there was a big empty area ... hence it felt kinda "empty". And I wasn't allowed to view the classrooms so I really do not know how the centre is like apart from the cold spacious empty area which i felt would have been put to better use if converted to an indoor "playground" for the kids (eg padded indoor playground with some little tykes slides, lerado "crab" see saw, or a mini trampoline to help special needs children with their gross motor development.
Appreciate if anyone can come forward with your honest , earnest opinion. The pull factor for me here is of course the distance
Which special sch your son is going to? How you decided that he go to one instead of the normal pre-school, and how old is he now?
So sorry, so many question, cos my nephew will be going to a normal childcare centre next year and I wonder if this is beneficial for him. I can see he is more on the high-functioning side so probably the normal setting will help him to improve better interms of social skill.